BUSINESS SOLUTIONS | CUSTOMER SERVICE
8 Behaviors That Hurt
By Joseph Callaway
If you’re like most spa business owners, you probably assume your client relationships are
pretty good. However, it’s possible
your relationships are merely
surviving rather than thriving.
Following are eight bad habits
that might be keeping you from
developing strong relationships
with your clients and tactics to
help you improve them.
1. Making client interactions
about you. You need a strong
sense of self in order to be a
successful spa owner, but no client
prefers working with someone
who has a patronizing attitude or
constantly sings her own praises.
Remember, your job is to be a
champion for your clients, to solve
their problems and help them find
satisfying treatment and product
2. Worrying too much. You
can’t expend the majority of your
mental energy on worries and
what-ifs. This puts you in the
wrong frame of mind to think
innovatively about how to meet
clients’ needs. Worry thrives when
you procrastinate, so every time
you find yourself fretting, make
yourself busy by solving a problem
you’ve been avoiding.
3. Letting apathy creep in. It’s
imperative that you choose to take
pride in your work. When you
consciously decide to put forth
your best effort, your feelings
of indifference will disappear
as you begin to genuinely care
about your clients. Make plans to
do something that will help you
improve your skills, expand your
knowledge and grow your passion.
A great way to do this is by
attending industry events, such as
Face & Body® Northern California
Spa Conference and Expo at the
McEnery Convention Center in
San Jose, California, on August
24–26. For more information or to
register today, visit
4. Being dishonest. When
you cultivate a reputation for
rock-solid honesty, clients will
trust, respect and refer your
services, making your life easier.
You’ll find that most people want
an honest opinion or the full story.
5. Being too professional. Do you
only see your clients as sources
of income, or do you see them
as actual human beings with
interests, quirks and stories? It’s
important not to cross certain
boundaries, but there’s no reason
you can’t strive to make a deeper
connection with your clients by
asking about their lives outside
of skin care. Every time you meet
with a client, ask at least one
question that has nothing to do
with business. The conversation
will probably develop in a
6. Thinking that you know best.
It’s true that you are the skin care
expert, but that doesn’t mean
your opinion is the only one that
matters. Find out what your clients
want and figure out how to provide
it for them.
7. Not expressing genuine
gratitude. Clients, like anyone else,
want to feel valued. You can show
them just how much you appreciate
them by getting to know them
personally, forgiving occasional bad
behavior and staying up-to-date
in your field in order to give
them the highest level of service.
Overall, strive to make politeness,
consideration and friendliness traits
your skin care facility is known
for—and never justify treating
clients with rudeness.
8. Writing off difficult clients.
When you make the choice to
stand by all of your frazzled,
frustrated clients, you will
eventually reap financial and
personal rewards. The next time a
client is being difficult, attempt to
get to the bottom of it. When you
know the reason behind a client’s
behavior, you’ll be inspired to go
to greater lengths on her behalf.
If you commit yourself to your
clients’ best interests, your bad
relationship habits will begin to
dissipate on their own. And over
time, your clients will begin to
take care of you just as you have
taken care of them.
Joseph Callaway is co-author of the New York Times bestseller Clients First: The
Two Word Miracle (Wiley, 2012)
and cofounder of the real estate
company, Those Callaways.